Working Out With Water Weights
Susan Hoff
June 9, 2021

It's not just an old woman's workout. It's anyone's game now.

Water weights might look and feel like toys when holding them poolside. But, imagine bringing a set of 10-pound weights into the pool with you. Because of the water's increased gravity, you wouldn't be able to do even one bicep curl!

Since they are made out of foam, aquatic weights feel extremely light. But, once you wade into the pool with them, these weights add just the right resistance for you to begin a killer water workout. You may have seen the water aerobics classes at your local pool or gym. Maybe you thought it looked easy. I'm here to tell you that it's a lot harder than it looks and it's not just an old woman's workout.

Here are a few benefits of trying out these foam dumbbells.

1. It's Gentle on Your Joints

As you age, your body begins to hurt. And you can only do so much to alleviate the pain. I constantly have to deal with or work around my osteoarthritis. Stepping into the pool for a low-impact workout is sometimes just the thing I need.

You do not have to strain your joints, ligaments, or tendons while in the water. Alternatively, you feel weightless in the pool. Instead of picking up weights on land and feeling the strain on your back or knees, you will feel the water support your spine.

If you have injured yourself outside of the pool, you will want to find a way to continue working out in a safe context. Weightlifters have been known to suffer from spinal problems, such as disc degeneration. This can come from poor posture, lifting too much weight too fast, or compromised form. The water acts like a brace, supporting and compressing your body from all sides, while reducing the inflammation around your sore joints. The cool temperature also reduces swelling and quickens healing.

You can combine your water-based strength training exercises with cardio in the pool and not feel any weight-bearing or jolting pain from your quick movements. You will enjoy the physical effects of a full-body cardio workout—decreased resting heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and more efficient blood circulation—without pounding your feet on the pavement.

2. It's a Full-Body Workout

Water weights will help increase your muscle strength and tone in your arms, shoulders, chest, back, legs, and core.

If you are a swimmer already, you can incorporate your lap swimming in before you grab your weights in order to break up the seemingly endless strokes.

If you are used to working out in the gym, you will be performing familiar exercises in the pool and won't feel like you are starting at square one with a new routine. But you will also notice how the water works against your muscles in a completely different way than on land. For example, you must work harder when bringing the weights back down in the pool, not just lifting them up. The water will push against you from all angles—unlike on land where gravity helps you drop the weights to your sides.

3. It Increases Your Range of Motion

Since you feel lighter underwater, your body has more freedom to move. You can do exercises that you would never be able to while on land. You will notice a greater range of motion, which will work the smaller muscles that you might miss at the gym. Even though you feel lighter, however, your body does have to work harder to wade through the water. This will help boost your cardiovascular endurance as well as your engage your core to help keep you stabilized and fight against buoyancy.

Here is a video of an aquatic dumbbell workout to help you get an idea of what you workout would look like.

Oath & Grind By Susan Hoff
Run fast, spin hard, lift heavy, work out like crazy. Whatever you do, Oath & Grind is the destination for all things fitness, nutrition, and life.
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